Kazakh president proposes setting up Caspian food hub
NUR-SULTAN. June 29 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan invites the Caspian littoral states to establish a food hub, which will help increase mutual trade with minimal costs, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.
"The strengthening of food security in the region is becoming particularly relevant. Last year, the volume of mutual food trade between Kazakhstan and the other Caspian littoral states stood at $3.4 billion, around 70% of which were with Russia via the land route [...]. In order to enhance trade cooperation between our states, we will have to consistently develop a modern logistics infrastructure. Therefore, we propose creating a Caspian food hub, which will help increase mutual trade with minimum expenses," Tokayev said at the Caspian Summit in Ashgabat on Wednesday.
Kazakhstan has begun building state-of-the-art wholesale distribution centers with a high technology system of food product warehouses and storage and distribution facilities, he said.
"The systemic integration of these centers with the Caspian food hub could open up new opportunities for effective cooperation between farmers, buyers, shipping companies, vendors, and consumers, and, most importantly, could ensure reliable guarantees of the sale of all delivered products," the Kazakh president said.
The five Caspian littoral states are Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran, and Turkmenistan.